Israeli PM’s wife charged with fraud, breach of trust
Jerusalem – The wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was charged Thursday with misusing some $100,000 in public funds to order lavish meals from celebrity chefs, dealing an embarrassing blow to the country’s first family and drawing fresh attention to a series of separate corruption investigations plaguing the prime minister.
Although the indictment against Sara Netanyahu did not directly affect the prime minister, it ended a period of political victories that had bolstered the Israeli leader and distracted attention from his legal woes. Her lawyers denounced the charges as “baseless and delusional.”
Sara Netanyahu has long faced allegations of abusive behavior and living extravagantly. In 2016, a court ruled she abused an employee and awarded the man $42,000 in damages. Other former employees have accused her of mistreatment, charges the Netanyahus have vehemently denied.
In Thursday’s indictment, the Justice Ministry said Sara Netanyahu was charged with fraud and breach of trust for allegedly overspending roughly $100,000 on private meals at the prime minister’s official residence, even when there was a full-time chef on staff. A former deputy director of the official residence was also charged.
In a statement on the prime minister’s Facebook page, it said she wasn’t aware of the regulations.